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NEWS STORIES

Rhinelander School District Faces $3 Million Budget ShortfallSubmitted: 11/12/2012
Story By Lex Gray


RHINELANDER - We think of schools as places where we drop our kids off at the beginning of the day.

But Rhinelander school board president Ron Counter said budget problems within those schools could reach far beyond classroom doors.

The district is dealing with a 3-million dollar budget gap.

That means eight full-time teachers, all elective classes, and all extra-curriculars, from debate to football, could be cut.

Counter said a referendum is the only way around the problem.

"It would all depend on whether the board goes referendum or not," Counter said. "It would depend on whether the citizens would support a referendum or not. We're pretty much to the point in our program where any cuts will be absolutely devastating. It will become a time where we cannot prepare our students to take their place in the workplace, as a part of local manufacturing, that will have immense consequences within the entire community."

The board meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the high school auditorium.

There's space for about 860 people, and you will be able to speak before the board decides on a referendum.

The board will then have until December 8 to decide.

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Firefighters and WPS workers work together for confined space trainingSubmitted: 08/29/2014

MERRILL - Firefighters put in a lot of work to help people in a variety of different crises.

They need to go through a lot of training to know how to do that.

The Merrill Fire Department got valuable training this week.

They got the chance to practice rescuing someone from a confined space at the hydro power plant in Merrill.

"I think it's a great opportunity for the Merrill Fire Department to partner with WPS. Anytime we can get realistic training it's very very valuable to us," says the captain in charge of training Mike Drury.

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2014 numbers good for state banksSubmitted: 08/29/2014

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LAONA - Only one in twenty banks in Wisconsin lost money in the first half of 2014.

Industry leaders see that as a sign of success and progress.

Those numbers had been worse over the past few years, especially during the recession.

Wisconsin banks made about a half-billion dollars in the first six months of the year. Their total assets were above $100 billion.

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Walker says GOP complacency a big concernSubmitted: 08/29/2014

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MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker says complacency and fatigue among Republican voters is one of his biggest concerns as he faces re-election in less than 10 weeks.

Walker addressed his concerns Friday on WTMJ-AM when asked about a poll released on Wednesday indicating that Democrats were more enthused about the upcoming election that Republicans. Walker calls that ``one of my biggest concerns.''

The Marquette University Law School poll showed the race between Walker and Democrat Mary Burke to be a dead heat, both among registered and likely voters.

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North Lakeland Discovery Center welcomes a new executive directorSubmitted: 08/29/2014

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MANITOWISH WATERS - The North Lakeland Discovery Center will welcome a new executive director.

The center in Manitowish Waters focuses on connecting people with nature. That's how Azeal Meza first connected with the discovery center. He says he is excited to move forward as the executive director.

"I was immediately impressed with the organization," says Meza. "I have been part of the bird club for a while, and it's a nice place where I come here with my family to hike the trials, paddle, you name it."

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Modified Karts at Crandon International Raceway this weekendSubmitted: 08/29/2014

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You can find racers from across the country at the raceway.

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Ginseng harvest season starts MondaySubmitted: 08/29/2014

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STATEWIDE - People could sell Wisconsin wild ginseng root for as much as $1,000 per pound last year.

Wisconsin's ginseng is known as some of the best in the world.

Some believe it gives people energy and has other health benefits.

It's seen an increase in popularity and demand.

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Wisconsin State Patrol reinforces consequences of speeding in construction zones Submitted: 08/29/2014

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MARATHON COUNTY - Each year in Wisconsin, both highway workers and motorists die or are hurt in crashes that happen in highway construction zones. Drivers need to slow down and obey the posted speed limit. In Marathon County, Wisconsin State Patrol doesn't treat drivers any differently.

Sergeant Travis Wanless of the Wisconsin State Patrol started his Wednesday morning off on Highway 51 by taking up both lanes to slow down traffic for rock blasting.

"We are blasting. I'm going to get you sick here, but I want to make sure these guys know I'm stopping," Wanless said.

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